It was emotional celebration of life at Memorial Regional Hospital on Tuesday.
Doctors and nurses were reunited for the first time with ICU patients whose lives they helped save.
There were a lot of tears during the reunion, which was especially heartfelt for the caregivers to see how well many patients are living thanks to technology that helped save their lives.
Dozens of patients got to personally thank the staff and know that their lives were saved by the ECMO machine, which replaces the function of the heart and lungs when the lungs can’t provide enough oxygen or the heart can’t pump enough blood.
Martha Akhlatkina, an athlete her whole life who found herself in the ICU with her heart failing, was diagnosed with endocarditis.
But she made a full recovery thanks to an ECMO machine. Without the machine, Akhlatkina said she wouldn’t be here right now.
“I’m going at life,” she said.
Dozens of patients got to personally thank the staff and know that the ECMO machine will continue to save many lives for years to come.
It was also a historic day for the hospital, which celebrated their 100th ECMO treatment.